June Sightings blog- RSPB Fairburn Ings

The weather for the first half of the month was disappointing, with frequent rain, often breezy and temperatures below average. Thankfully the weather improved in the last week of the month.

The smaller passerine birds proved difficult to spot, as whilst many would be on nests or feeding chicks, the windy conditions and ever-increasing foliage made birding quite challenging. Though somewhat quieter, many birds continued to sing throughout the month: Song Thrush, Garden Warbler, Blackcap, Willow Warbler, Chiff Chaff and Reed Warbler particularly vocal.

Cuckoo were witnessed on numerous occasions during the month, including one calling near the Riverbank Trail on the 29 June.

Early in the month, 2 adult Avocet with 4 young were observed from Bob Dicken’s hide. The young were faring better than a Black-headed Gull chick that became lunch for a Lesser Black Backed Gull!

Later in the month a family of Shelduck could be seen on the small Main Bay islands, viewed from Bob Dicken’s hide. A pair of Oystercatcher were also observed, but whether a breeding pair is not known.

Kingfishers were frequent visitors, notably to the water in front of Pickup Hide, where the local photographers obtained some excellent images. They were also sighted from Charlie’s Hide, at the eastern edge of the reserve on Cut Lane.

Spoonbills and Bittern continue to delight, often seen going out on feeding trips on the reserve and beyond. On one occasion, 20 Spoonbills were seen in the Moat area, where juveniles (aka “Tea spoons”), with their all-yellow bills, were frequently observed. If you're interested in seeing spoonbills up closer than ever before- why not have a look at our Specialised Spoonbill Experiences running in July here?

Barn Owl has been seen at the western side of the reserve; even being noted hunting during the day in the Moat area. 

Brown Hares were photographed on the flashes. Other, non-bird sightings include Roe Deer, which are best seen from the Roy Taylor Trail and a Weasel from the Kingfisher Screen. One of our ranger volunteers spied a Fox resting in a tree!

Banded Demoiselles remain widespread around the reserve and on the warmer, dry days, Ringlets, Brimstone, Large Skipper and Speckled Wood butterflies were observed.

Other bird sightings at RSPB Fairburn Ings in June included:

Cattle Egret (Lin Dike hide)

Marsh Harrier (Flashes)

Reed Warbler (Pickup Hide and Roy Taylor Trail reed beds)

Garden Warbler (Visitor Centre area)

Common Tern (Main and Village bays)

Ruff (Lin Dike)

Green Sandpiper x 3 (Flashes)

Yellow Wagtail (Flashes)

Osprey (Coal Tips)

RSPB Fairburn Ings is a very accessible site, with good quality paths.  Wheelchair users find the site easy to navigate and less mobile birdwatchers are welcome to enjoy everything that RSPB Fairburn Ings offers.  A motorized scooter is available for hire at the visitor centre, although it is always best to book it.  Please see the RSPB Fairburn Ings  Website here for more information, including information on upcoming events.

Don't forget to tag us in your photos and videos of what you've seen on the reserve. We love to see what you discover!



Written by: Graeme

Images: Ben Andrews, Jo Seymour